“(15,000 m3) of reinforced concrete, (2,250,000 kg) of reinforcing steel (Rebar), (50,000 m2) of marble and granite, (10,000 m2) of mirrors, and (5,000 m2) of Karbalai gilded mosaic (Kashi) were used in the horizontal expansion project” . This is what was announced by the Head of the Department of Engineering Projects in Al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine, the Engineer Dea' Majeed As-Sa'egh, during his speech at the opening ceremony of the first part of the horizontal expansion project of the Al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine, which was held on Thursday morning 22 Rajab 1435 AH corresponding to 22 May 2014.
He added: "This is a great project which began with a surface of (10,000 m2) of the surrounding area of the old walls to be (30,000 m2) in three storeys: the underground (basement), ground and first floor, that was fully exploited for the Holy Shrine and visitors services, to form facilities with an utmost creativity and where the finest construction materials were used, with the most beautiful finish materials like alabaster ( Italian onyx marble), colourful mirrors, mosaics and gilded Karbalai mosaic (Kashi) in order to build this beautiful edifice. "
He explained: "three giant projects came along with this project, namely: The electricity expansion project which started providing the Holy Shrine with three lines spread over three stations, air conditioning project which equipped the Holy Shrine with (4,000 tons) of cooling, and a promising and sophisticated project of communications system and control cameras in addition to the alarm, fire and sound systems. "
Noting : "This project was an idea two years ago, set up by the general secretariats of both HolyShrine of Imam Al-Hussayn and Al-Abbas (peace be upon them), in order to accommodate the growing numbers of visitors, where will be allocated to them within the expansion, places for worship, prayers and visits (zyarat), in addition to places of deposit, of shoe storages (Kishwanyat), ablution places and fountains of water, etc., thus the expansion of the Holy Shrine is a new phase of innovation and development in the construction and history of this great edifice, starting from the design of the outer wall and ending by the details of the interior design, decorations, doors and windows; in order to achieve the objectives set by the General Secretariat of the Al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine on the designated company ( the Iraqi company of land of Jerusalem "Ard Al-Qods") that are:
First: the implementation of the project in three storeys does not exceed the high of the ancient wall (11m), to provide areas and spaces suitable for each floor, as well as to maintain the appearance of the Shrine and minarets from the outside.
Second: the preparation of a design which provides a smooth motion of the visitors from the basement to the ground and first floor, from the nine existing entrances of the Holy Shrine.
Third: the introduction of the finest construction materials, finish materials, decorations, Muqarnas (corbel) in a way that does not differ from the current architectural design of the Holy Shrine.
Fourth: the project is implemented with mechanisms, techniques and style that maintain the old construction adjacent to the project, where stand the giant walls of the old fence and ancient foundations with unknown dimensions, and implement a basement with a depth of (6m -7m).
Thankfully all these observations were taken in consideration with the Iraqi skilled labour force from the Department of Engineering Projects and from the Engineering Division at the Shiite Endowment.
Thanks be to God, the first phase of the project was completed and it is currently in service. And the work on the second phase is ongoing for the expansion of the nine entrances of the Holy Shrine, so as to leave some entries open for visitors of the Holy Shrine. "
At the conclusion of his speech, he thanked all those who contributed to the completion of this distinctive project ..